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The Spirit of the Holiday in Music: Performance Guide

January 26th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune

Pasadena Master Chorale “A Pasadena Christmas Card”

The Pasadena Master Chorale offers a musical gift to the community but hopes to raise funds to benefit the Orchestras of Pasadena in a concert “A Pasadena Christmas Card” to be presented 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12 at the First Congregational Church of Pasadena. The Chorale, under the direction of Jeffrey Bernstein, will sing six choruses from Handel’s “Messiah” and selections from Boris Ord’s “Adam Lay Y Bounden”, Benjamin Britten’s “A Boy was Born”, Ralph Vaughn Williams’ “Wassail” and others. The 80-member Pasadena Master Chorale include singers from age 17 to 75, but many of the more mature singers are alumni of the Occidental College Glee Club. Tickets are $10. The First Congregational Church, 464 W. Walnut St., Pasadena. For information, please call (626) 793-7172, ext. 3050.

Christmas with the Maestromaestro
The “Maestro” is Victor Vener and the Christmas celebration is with his orchestra, the California Philharmonic Orchestra. Offered as “a holiday celebration like no other” the concert starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
The program includes “Nutcracker” and “Messiah” selections and lots of traditional music of the season plus Angel Blue, an exciting young soprano, the 100-member Cal Phil Chorale directed by Marya Basaraba, Cal Phil Foundation’s Young Artist Performance Award winners, 18 year-old Clare Snodgrass, a soprano, and 16 year-old Emily Dyer, a mezzo-soprano. The audience gets to perform too with the Chorale singing the “Hallelujah” chorus from “The Messiah” and youngsters are invited on-stage to carol along. A visit from Santa? Of course. Carolers in the lobby pre-concert? Of course. Ticket prices range from $25 to $90. The Pasadena Civic Auditorium is at 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. For tickets, call (213) 365-3500. For information, please call (626) 300-8200.

Sounds of Christmas with San Gabriel Valley Choral Company

Stefanie Chamberlain-Farris has had a successful run with San Gabriel Valley Choral Company, the spirited community chorus. But, she has announced she will leaving the chorale and the 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 “Sounds of Christmas” at the First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia will be her final appearance conducting here. The program will offer both contemporary and traditional carols with special guests Ike Singers and Ikettes from Eisenhower High School of Rialto. Tickets, at the door, are $10 general admission; $7 seniors and students. The First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia is at 101 E. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia.

Masters of Harmony Annual Christmas Show
They’re champions! And the winner is: Masters of Harmony, champions of The Barbershop Harmony Society International Chorus competition. Director of the group, Mark Hale, leads this men’s chorus in a program of holiday favorites at two performances, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Long Beach. They will sing songs meant to remind you of the joys of past holiday seasons. A quartet formed out of the chorus, The Crush, add even more fun to the musical presentation. Tickets are $25. Located on the campus of Cal State Long Beach, the Carpenter Center of Performing Arts is at 1600 Atherton St., Long Beach. For information please call (562) 699-2496.

German Boys’ Choir and Musica Angelica Sing Christmas Oratorio
The story of Christ’s birth is the centerpiece of the presentation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Christmas” Oratorio by baroque specialists Musica Angelica and the German Boys’ Choir Tolzer Knabenchor at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 at Zipper Concert Hall, Los Angeles and at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14 at The Broad Stage, Santa Monica.
Musica Angelica, under the baton of Music Director Martin Haselbock, and the Tolzer Knabenchor, directed by Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden will be joined by tenor Markus Schafer and baritone Randall Scarlata for this tribute to the season. Ticket prices range from $39 to $55. Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School of Performing Arts is at 200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles and The Broad Stage on the campus of Santa Monica City College is at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and 11th St. For information, please call (310) 458-4504.

Walt Disney Concert Hall Christmas Concerts
Called the “Deck the Halls” series, sounds of the holiday begin on Tuesday, Dec. 16 and continue through New Year’s Eve. At 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16 the Grammy-winning Chanticleer returns for its annual appearance singing songs ranging from the Renaissance, traditional carols and contemporary; 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec 17 organist David Higgs, soprano Lisa Vroman and harpist Mindy Ball celebrate the joy and majesty of the season; 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21 Sarah Hicks conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic, members of the Westside Ballet and David Prather, narrator in selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet suite, a recitation of “The Night Before Christmas” “Jingle Bells” and more; 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 22, the Count Basie Orchestra celebrates the holiday in the Kansas City jazz style; 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23 the Soweto Gospel Choir infuses gospel and African traditions into Christmas classics; 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31 Pink Martini with guest Jimmy Scott ring in 2009 with their combination of Brazilian samba, ’30’s Cuban dance, Parisian café music.
Ticket prices vary according to program, but range $24 to $195. Walt Disney Concert Hall is at 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. For information, please call (323) 850-2000.

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